West Virginia Dems Fret Over Special Election Cost

Some West Virginia Democratic lawmakers expressed doubts Friday over the state’s plan to hold a special election in November to fill the seat left vacant by the late Sen. Robert Byrd. Currently the state’s plan appropriates $5.9 million to pay for the cost of holding a Democratic and Republican primary election on August 28, 2010 and a special election on November 2, 2010.

“I don’t know where people think we’re going to get the money from,” wondered one Democratic lawmaker.

“I think we made a mistake (by clearing the bill through committee) yesterday,” said another Democratic lawmaker.

The same lawmaker said that since Gov. Joe Manchin (D) will probably run in the special election he could have saved West Virginia some money. “He should have had the gubernatorial balls to appoint someone (for the remainder of the term) or appoint himself.”

Manchin appointed his former general counsel Carte Goodwin to fill the open Senate seat until the people of West Virginia choose a replacement.  Manchin told Fox News that it was “highly likely” that he would end up running in the special election.

At least one Republican agreed with having a special election to permanently replace Byrd. Delegate Patrick Lane said a special election is what the people of West Virginia want, “We can cut from plenty of other places, but I think an election, so that the people’s voice can be heard, is the right thing to do.”